What Is a Smart Card Reader?

If you are planning to invest in a new security access system (better known as an access control system) and you don’t have enough information to make a decision, you have come to the best place. In this article, we are going to talk about smart cards and smart readers, one of the latest technology developments that allow you to keep your information secure within an access control system.

Smart cards, also referred to as a chip card or an integrated circuit card, are basically cards that have circuits integrated in their structure. Smart cards have the ability to provide authentication, application processing and data storage. This ability allows them to be used for a variety of purposes, such as security authentication for large companies, ATM cards, fuel cards, SIM’s, identification cards, pubic transit slim visitekaartje cards and in education and healthcare.

Although they are widely used in Europe, smart cards are now starting to take off in the United States and Canada. In North America, magnetic stripe cards are still the most widely used, but they are less secure than smart cards, because the information they store is easier to be read, modified or deleted. That is why they are less recommended for storage of important records.

While the United States has invested huge amounts of money in developing the computer software and the processing system of the cards, in Europe people chose to bring the memory to the card, thus creating the smart card. Now, if you are thinking “What is a smart reader?” We have the answer for that too. A smart reader is, as its name states, a device that has the ability to “read” the information stored on a smart card and trigger a specific action according to the information present on the card. Access control card readers come in a variety of forms, from tokens to PC Links, contact smart readers and contactless smart readers.

Contactless smart card readers, also called prox readers, are ideal for health care centers, for enterprises and organizations, as well as for e-businesses and banking applications. Identification and control of access have become more and more important for businesses, as security awareness is growing among big companies. These access cards have been identified as the answer to this problem, because they are easy to use and have a high level of information security, thus keeping sensitive information safe.

There are many companies that manufacture and sell cards and card readers worldwide, such as Gemalto and Securakey. So, if you have decided to invest in such a system, the options are varied and so are the prices. You can expect to invest from $200 to $500 in a card reader, while the prices for smart cards are even more varied, according to the particular type of product you would prefer. We believe that the added security gained by using a smart access control system is well worth the additional expense.

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